Saturday, July 08, 2006

Cracked Wheat Loaf

Friday, July 7, 2006
Every once in a while, Jim asks me, apprehensively, if I'm going to stop baking bread after I've made all 82 breads. I say no, and hope I mean it. I like having fresh bread on hand, or making my next loaf, or going through the Bible, looking for my next one. I expect I could get lazy (well, let's face it--I know very well I could get lazy), but I don't think I'll just give it up.
The cracked wheat bread is another one that's in contention for the standard bread you'd want to have around all the time--for toast, for sandwiches, for snacks. The bulgur gives it plenty of whole grain heftiness and crunch, but it's got a great texture too. It's a lovely dough. It looked so rich and creamy in the mixing bowl--it could have passed for a big bowl of butter brickle ice cream.
I got engrossed in the movie "Murderball" (it's a documentary about paraplegic rugby--it doesn't sound that good, but it really is!)while the bread was rising in the pan, so it grew more than I intended it to. When I took it out of the oven, Jim kept calling it the "fat bread" or the "chubby loaf" until I told him that we were not amused.
The recipe calls for added granular lecithin, which supposedly will make it stay soft and fresh for three days. I will be surprised if this loaf is still in existence three days hence, so I may not be able to accurately test the the lecithin's efficacy.
I am at the point now where I believe that it's very possible to actually bake all of the breads in one year, but an additional problem is coming up. I'm planning to remodel my kitchen, which will mean at least six weeks without a real kitchen. I'm not sure how I'm going to catch up with a six-week lag. There are a few breads I can make without an oven, although I was planning to do those in hot July or August weather. My kitchen remodel means buying a new range. I just realized that I've never bought a stove--I've always used the ones that came with the apartment or house. Does anyone have a range that they love and would recommend? Or one that they hate and would warn against?


Rose Levy Beranbaum said...

home for 2 seconds but had to see what was the bread du jour. oh yes--cracked wheat is so wonderful. and i love your description of every aspect of it.

i'm sure that when you finish all of them you'll want to go back to old favorites but also you should check out some of the new ones i've posted on my blog--i'll remind you which on graduation day!

i'll check with my friend and kitchen equipment advisor david shammah as to what the word is on the latest ovens--great designers keep moving--thermidor used to be tops--then the guy went to dacoret which then became the top one. viking for a while has been on top and if you need to get a range that has both oven and cooktop that would probably be the best choice. i like that they have electric self-cleaning oven and gas burners. i have the gaggenau wide oven in the country and really like it--it's a wall oven and i've mounted it facing the wide doorway as the fan vents hot air so if one is foolish enough to mount it under the counter as is shown in so many kitchen books, you can't work on that counter while you're baking as the hot air would scorch your stomache. anyway, it doesn't make sense to have a wall oven and then mount it low so that you have to bend down and strain your back when lifting out roasts or heavy things. my husband gave me the great advice to but some weights in a roasting pan and see at what height i can most easily lift the pan. i would have thought one's arms should be at right angles but actually just below that is where most women are strongest.
another very important thing is that on some ovens the top heating elements go on every time it cycles up which can be a problem as you don't want to over-brown the top of the bread. in short, you need to research as things are constantly changing in the kitchen equipment field.

breadbasketcase said...

It's good to hear from you again. You're wise to stay away from the internet as much as possible when you're on vacation; otherwise it's not much of a vacation.
Thanks for the tips on the ovens. I'm just starting to do research, but I trust your experience more than I trust some random person's opinion.